HIV among the Latino community is on the rise with Latinos representing 21% of all new HIV infections, yet only 13% of the U.S. population. It is estimated that 23% of the 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States in 2012 were Latinos. The rate of HIV infection in Latinos is more than three times that of non- Hispanic whites. Latino’s are usually in later stages of HIV disease when diagnosed and experience significant barriers to treatment. The CDC reports that 54.8% of Latinos living with HIV are retained in treatment with 43.3% prescribed antiretroviral treatment and 35.6% achieving viral suppression. Risk factors attributed to Latinos are intravenous drug use, multiple sexual partners and male- to- male transmission.
Antiretroviral therapy has dramatically increased the life span of HIV patients. Despite this, people living with HIV experience other devastating illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), at a significant rate. Cardiovascular diseases and related conditions often seen in people living with HIV include coronary artery disease, heart attack, pulmonary hypertension, heart failure and stroke.
Another year of the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2016) has come to pass. Here are a few less publicized but important highlights on HIV remission and eradication from this year’s conference.
A Second Berlin Patient?
Several attempts have been made in HIV-positive cancer patients to reproduce the possible eradication of HIV seen in Timothy Ray Brown. There have been past reports of procedures that appeared promising, but eventually viral rebound occurred or the patient succumbed to cancer.
Luis J. Montaner DVM, D.Phil, of the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has been studying the effects of interferon on HIV DNA and its ability to reduce the size of HIV viral reservoirs for several years. The current understanding of HIV cure research is dedicated to the idea that viral reservoirs are the main barrier to eradicating HIV or producing HIV remission.
In February of 2014, The National Institutes of Health granted Montaner’s lab a four-year, $6.2 million grant to conduct a multi-site trial to investigate interferon. The study will be the largest clinical trial of a potential cure strategy to date, and continues earlier research of interferon that showed promising results.
A commonly-used HIV drug has been shown to kill-off the human papilloma virus (HPV) that leads to cervical cancer in a world-first clinical trial led by The University of Manchester with Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in Nairobi.
Drs Ian and Lynne Hampson, from the University’s Institute of Cancer Sciences and Dr Innocent Orora Maranga, Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at KNH in Nairobi examined Kenyan women diagnosed with HPV positive early stage cervical cancer who were treated with the antiviral HIV drug lopinavir in Kenya.
Continue reading HIV drug used to reverse effects of virus that causes cervical cancer